Thatcher was certainly divisive. But growing up in the 60s / 70s -- Britain was in a long and relentless decline and derided as such by pretty much everyone. It possessed a whole myriad of nationalized companies and militant unions -- both sucking the national treasury. Neither cared about competitiveness -- folks just wanted "their share" regardless... Remember British Motors? British Steel? British Aerospace? British Coal? The list of non-competitive companies bleeding the nation dry just went on and on...
Like her or loathe her, Thatcher was the very first PM who took on the unions -- to reverse what everyone knew deep down was an unsustainable trend. No country or society is perfect -- but Britain today is in a stronger economic position that the rest of EU. Pre Thatcher, Britain was much more like Greece today. And really, it is to her credit that even the Labour Party today no longer attempt to remake Britain into a socialist society where goodies are all-but-guaranteed -- whether you work very hard or not -- sustainability be damned.